This evening, through a series of unimportant events which I won’t bore you with here while I bore you with other things, I went in search of an uncropped version of an image I use as an avatar at PGDP. My goal was to crop it at a larger size (128×128) than the version I use at PGDP (80×80).
Despite my best efforts I was unable to find it on my computer. I remember, however, emailing it to the DnD group when it was created 5+ years ago (the avatar is my DnD character Gairdeachas). So I sshed into my mail server, bunzip2 compressed my 2000-2004 sent emails (maildir tar archives), grep’ed through them for what I recall of the filename, and found it. A quick base64 decode of the MIME attachment data (easier than loading it back into my IMAP server and accessing it through my mail client) and success! Then a simple cropping via the Gimp yielded the desired 128×128 image.
In short: yes I’m a digital packrat. I retain all the mail I sent and received back to 2000 ever since I graduated college and stopped using university email systems.